Meet This Brooklyn Woman Who Lives With 150 Plants (Including a Dirty Potato!)

Viven Chong poses for In the Weeds With Plant People

The Spruce / Shirley Cruz

It’s time to kick off another tour of an apartment that is filled to the brim with plants. And that apartment belongs to Vivien Chong, her husband, their dog Lyla, and a lot of plants (over 150 of them). Her Brooklyn apartment is north facing and offers her plant collection amazing indirect filtered light all day long.

In This Episode


Inside This 150+ Brooklyn Plant Collection

Her Most Unique and Favorite Plants

Her airy apartment is teeming with plants like her Stephania Suberosa, which Chong calls the most unique in her collection, and her Monstera Albo which is her favorite at the moment. And while you won’t catch her talking to any of her plants, she is a sucker for new growth, “I’ll be screaming for my husband to come in and check it out as well. And then we’ll both gush over how cute the new leaf is.” 

The Benefits of Being a Plant Mom

Like most plant parents, Vivien has formed a really good relationship with her indoor jungle, “My plants have given me a lot. I treat plant care like self care and I really do enjoy watering my plants, taking care of them, and seeing them grow.” 

If She Was Reborn as a Plant...

Vivien tells us that if she was reborn into one of her plants it would be her Pink Princess Philodendron because of how pretty and feminine it is before bringing us into her living room which houses most of her collection. She has an amazing Ikea greenhouse and has placed grow lights throughout the room to supplement the natural light she gets from her big windows.

What She Looks for in Plants

Talk to any plant person and they’ll tell you that they have a preference when it comes to choosing plants to purchase. Vivien is a fan of pretty foliage whether that means the color or the texture of the leaves. One plant that caught her eye because of this was the Begonia Tingley Mallet. Speaking of pretty foliage, Vivien shows off her most expensive plant, the variegated Monstera Adansonii which she grew from a node she purchased. A cutting of a plant like this could cost thousands of dollars!

The Plant She Most Looks Like

As we continue to tour Vivien’s apartment she tells us that the plant she most looks like is the Begonia, “sometimes it’s pretty, sometimes it’s not but it still survives even if it’s down to a stump.” This resilience is something that Vivien respects when it comes to plants. She appreciates their will to live and survive even if they’re not doing well, which is something that any good plant parent would agree with.